“Excuse me! I need to report a crime.” Came a shout from the back of the line.
“Would you like me to call Security? This is the lost and found Mam, and please step forward.” The 5 people milling about talking about lost wallets and strollers stepped aside to let the young woman ahead. She was your typical 20something from the city. Dressed for a dinner date, not a walking tour of the zoo. Probably the only crime she was likely to report was the ever present 4 year olds making monkey faces on the tram to anyone they didn’t like. “What seems to be the problem?”
“My boyfriend Bart and I were in the great ape house watching the orangutans playing with the truck tire. There were two of them. They’d tip the tire up on its end and rolled it down the little hill they were on until it smacked against the glass of the enclosure. “ The clerk behind the counter raised an eyebrow but didn’t seem all that surprised.
“What exactly was the crime, Miss?” The air was filled with repetition, as if this scene had been repeated many times in the recent past.
“That’s when it happened. Bart and I were so startled we backed away from the glass until we were up against the railing of the monkey cages. Somehow they had untied the rope hanging from tree in the center of their cage and used it as a swing to reach me and Bart.” She stopped and just left everyone hanging for the rest of the story. The 5 others who were milling around began to move in closer as if everything that was being said was a conspiracy where only hushed tones were used. Conspiracy’s love hushed tones.
“Is there more Miss?”
“Well, these two monkeys, ‘CAP A CHINO’ monkeys I think, swung out like Tarzan and just like that, the snatched our cell phones. Burt had his out taking pictures and mine was in my purse. At first, that little bugger took my purse, but once in the cage he unzipped it, rummaged through it. He kept my iPhone! He also kept my gum, but I had forgotten that was even there. So that’s the crime. I was robbed by two monkeys!” All around her the other bystanders plus a few zoo employees all smiled and gave each other knowing glances. Conspiracy’s also need knowing glances to make them official. The clerk told her to fill out a form for her lost cell phones and that at the end of the day, the cages were cleaned and if any cell phones were to be found, she’d be informed as unlikely as that may be. The Capuchin monkeys were cute and all, but could never be responsible for such coordinated behavior. No cell phones were ever recovered from inside the cage. Certainly not within the past 13 years that he worked there. Undoubted she and Bert were the victim of the occasional pick pockets that roam the zoo.
After the form was filled out and the young lady rejoined her boyfriend, the clerk picked up the intercom and keyed the Primate house. “Hey Billy, its Kevin. Sounds like Mario and Luigi did it again. Yea, I know. Third time this week. This time they got the Orangutans to create a diversion. When the pizza arrives send it this way. Oh, and we’ll be in real trouble if those two figure out how to order from Amazon.“